Facebook Rolls the Carpet for Agency Friends

facebook-seminar-carolyn-everson-3Cannes, France– Facebook head of marketing Carolyn Everson made a case to Cannes Lions attendees that their campaigns should be “social by design,” and that Facebook’s display units have more creative potential than they might assume.

She said the company has no intention of building up an in-house agency, but lives by the mantra “stay small.” She would prefer agencies take the lead, building experiences and proactively recommending ad improvements.

To that end, she unveiled a new agency-created ad type called “Comments.” Designed by Chicago-based Leo Burnett as part of Facebook’s AdExpo late last year, the ad is a version of Sponsored Stories geared toward sparking user responses. Comments appear simultaneously as a post on a brand’s Facebook page and as an ad. It’s the eighth type of premium ad format available on the site.

To further cement agency ties, Everson also announced the creation of a client council to advise on its strategy, with Universal McCann CEO Nick Brien and Coca-Cola marketing chief Wendy Clark as founding members. And it will expand its Hack events, where Facebook works with agencies to create quick turnaround campaigns for good causes.

The overarching message, according to Everson: “Think very big about how to use the graph and inspire your fans.” As an example, she noted the impact Nike achieved by putting its “Write the Future” TV spot on Facebook two days before it aired globally. She said the campaign had 2.5 billion ad views and more than 6 million video plays on the site.

Indeed, Everson said her team is very keyed up about the interplay of Facebook with television assets, and is studying the subject as part of its relationship with Nielsen.

Earlier in the day, Everson sat for a video interview with ClickZ, touching on several of the themes in her speech. Watch it here:

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